As we have listened to 80 marketing leaders on MTM Visionaries over the year, one thing is consistent in their stories: without teamwork and collaboration, a marketer’s job would not be possible. From climbing the corporate ladder, hiring top talent, building successful teams, and fostering a community, these marketing leaders have given insights into the opportunities and challenges facing the future of teams. Below you’ll find a list of proven tips that curate the best marketing teams.
On Fostering Connection Through Shared Purpose
“Our goal is to build community with our users, but how do we make sure our teams feel like they’re a part of a group of people solving meaningful problems? Previous to the evolving work style, we came to work because of the culture. Now that our teams are remote, community is one of the most important things to build within our organizations.
It’s no secret that being in a company with a clear purpose matters; it is the first thing that brings people together, and it is what drives community. People are coming to work now, not for the fancy offices or the free lunch, but because they work towards the greater good.
The second thing is to help them feel connected by enabling people to come together virtually or in person. The highlight of my week is getting together with my team and spending 15 minutes sharing the good news in our life during Tea Time; it feels good to be connected and not talk about work.”
– Musa Tariq, CMO, GoFundMe
On Boosting Team Morale With In-Person Gatherings
“My team continuously feels the reward of joy as we have worked together to solve something that isn’t about us.
The mental health numbers reflect the disconnection that we feel in life and at work. Finding ways to bring people together is essential, so we have done traffic weeks where the team comes into the office and regular opportunities for our teams to work together in person.
So much of what I learned in my early jobs was by osmosis. Being in the room where the conversations were happening, especially for creative roles, was invaluable. There are many accessible tools, but nothing compares to being in that shared space and the ideas that can form when you are together.”
– Maryam Banikarim, (Former Head of Marketing, Nextdoor) Founder, MaryamB
On Leading Teams Well Through Challenges and Transformations
“Transformation begins inside the company with employees as our best brand ambassadors, so arming our people with the tools to be successful is critically important. We aim to prepare our teams, particularly in times of transition, so that they can be successful with their stakeholders and communicate our story.
Nothing has brought me closer to the transformation GE is going through than being able to help people experience it and teach it from the ground up. Lean manufacturing (waste-free production) and the spirit of the lean mindset have been a big part of what we’ve been trying to do.”
– Linda Boff, CMO and President of GE Foundation
“There is a rational and emotional response a leader must operate with in navigating their teams through the unknown; sometimes, we anchor one way or the other. The rational response is securing the business and the strategy, and the emotional is knowing what inspires you to get up every day. As a leader, you have to figure out if you are serving both sides of the spectrum because people are motivated by different things.
Coming back to the office is a big part of that. There’s so much value to being in the office, particularly for young people. The old way of human connections can take us far in weathering this storm.”
– Marvin Chow, VP Global Marketing, Google
On The Impact of Team Synchrony
“As a direct-to-consumer brand, we set up our team to talk to consumers as closely as possible. Because most of our buyers are coming through our digital front door, we heavily focus on digital marketing. Our customers configure their cars, place reservations, do all their paperwork online, and sometimes never step foot into our Studio. They do the complete transaction online, and then the car will be delivered to their home, all on the consumer’s terms.
To do that well, you must organize your team so you’re consistently delivering a digital customer journey with an understanding of who they are and what they want. You shouldn’t notice a difference between hearing from us on social media, our website, configurator, or visiting one of our studios; it should be a seamless customer journey.”
– Jeff Curry, VP of Marketing and Communications, Lucid Motors
On Creating a Safe Team Environment
“In business, there is so much that we can’t control, but we can control the environment we create for each other. It is important to create an environment where team members can bring themselves to the table and contribute.
In addition, I am transparent with my team that they may not start their careers and retire from General Mills, but they will add value to their skill sets while they’re here. I encourage them to consider what skills they want to add and discuss how to gain those experiences here.”
–Doug Martin, Chief Brand and Disruptive Growth Officer of General Mills
On Being In-Person
“There’s such an energizing force that you experience in person..Especially for people who are newer in their career, those conversations in the hallway really help people grow and learn. I find it rewarding to hear fresh ideas and perspectives from my team, especially as we go to market with new customers in mind.”
–Arielle Gross Samuels, Global Head of Marketing, Blackstone
On Supporting Teams in a Hybrid Work Environment
“We are a remote-first organization with 2000+ people. At Kraken, being in a revolutionary category has its own set of challenges, but there has been a beautiful outcome to having a team united on the mission. We bring people on by focusing on whether or not we share the same values.
We know there will be ups and downs, but when you have a team committed to the broader mission, you’ll weather the challenges better. We strive to create an environment where people feel safe to fail, learn from their mistakes, and challenge themselves to move fast. The most important thing to keep in mind is that every leader needs constant empathy for so much that people are going through.”
– Mayur Gupta, CMO, Kraken
More Insights You May Enjoy…
For more insights from our 2022 MTM Visionaries Replay, click here to see what other common themes surfaced.
Visionaries, hosted by Nadine Dietz, airs every week and is brought to you in partnership with The Wall Street Journal. Each week, two new visionaries share their game plan and how that impacts today’s teams, talent, and hybrid work environment.
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